The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-242

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Mine is a Chief who reached most haught estate, * Treading the pathways of the good and great: His justice makes all regions safe and sure, And against froward foes bars every gate: Bold lion, hero, saint, e’en if you call Seraph or Sovran [FN#493] he with all may rate! The poorest supplicant rich from him returns, * All words to praise him were inadequate. He to the day of peace is saffron Morn, * And murky Night in furious warfare’s bate. Bow �neath his gifts our necks, and by his deeds As King of freeborn [FN#494] souls he �joys his state: Allah increase for us his term of years, And from his lot avert all risks and fears! When he had finished transcribing the lines, he despatched them, in charge of one of his uncle’s slaves, to the Sultan, who perused them and his fancy was pleased; so he read them to those present and all praised them with the highest praise. Thereupon he sent for the writer to his sitting-chamber and said to him, “Thou art from this day forth my boon-companion and I appoint to thee a monthly solde of a thousand dirhams, over and above that I bestowed on thee aforetime.” So Hasan rose and, kissing the ground before the King several times, prayed for the continuance of his greatness and glory and length of life and strength. Thus Badr al-Din Hasan the Bassorite waxed high in honour and his fame flew forth to many regions and he abode in all comfort and solace and delight of life with his uncle and his own folk till Death overtook him. When the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard this story from the mouth of his Wazir, Ja’afar the Barmecide, he marvelled much and said, “It behoves that these stories be written in letters of liquid gold.” Then he set the slave at liberty and assigned to the youth who had slain his wife such a monthly stipend as sufficed to make his life easy; he also gave him a concubine from amongst his own slave-girls and the young man became one of his cup-companions. “Yet this story,” (continued Shahrazad) “is in no wise stranger than the tale of the Tailor and the Hunchback and the Jew and the Reeve and the Nazarene, and what betided them.” Quoth the King, “And what may that be?” So Shahrazad began, in these words,[FN#495]